The history of Irish coffee involves a chef, a travel writer, and a journey around the world - but you can easily make it at home.
An oral history of Irish coffee usually begins in Foynes, a small community in western Ireland. But in actuality, the legend of this popular cocktail wraps around the world, from Dublin to the Marshall Islands. And a travel writer plays a starring role!
This boozy, creamy drink first gained popularity after it was served by Irish chef Joe Sheridan at Foynes Airbase, likely in 1943. It was offered up as a bracing concoction for passengers whose flight was forced to turn back due to poor winter weather and they promptly fell in love with the combination of coffee, whiskey, sugar, and cream. However, it was travel writer Stanton Delaplane who popularized it in 1952 when he brought the recipe home to San Francisco.
(Let's all take a moment to appreciate how fitting it is that someone whose last name is "Delaplane" choose a career as a travel writer. Marvelous.)
Stan convinced his friend Jack Koeppler, owner of San Francisco's Buena Vista cafe, that the drink would be a hit. Or, depending on who you believe, Jack approached Stan and tasked him with the job of recreating the Irish drink that was slowly getting a word-of-mouth reputation. According to official lore, since they couldn't figure out how to to properly add the cream, they offered Joe Sheridan a job and the chef immigrated to San Francisco in 1952. Problem solved!
Alas, there may be more to the story. In a Time Magazine interview with Joe in 1955, he stated that he immigrated through Canada and Hawaii before settling in San Francisco by coincidence, where he found work in an all night dinner called Tiny's Waffle Shop (now closed). Like many travel legends, it seems like this story has some tall tales.
Exploring Dublin's Cozy Side
My cozy Dublin list reflects nearly 20 years of favourite special places and flavors.
Dublin is a cool city. I am not a cool person. And herein lies the root of my problem with it comes to recommending things to see and do in the Irish capital. I can't tell you a thing about hip bars, trendy music venues, or any of the amazing shops led by a new generation of makers and creators. I'm not much better when it comes to chic restaurants, festivals, or exhibits. Alas, people ask me for recommendations for their Dublin city breaks all the time. This autumn alone, two sets of dear friends are going there and I couldn't do much more but issue an impassioned plea for them to visit my favourite bakery. Not exactly cutting edge stuff.
But all of a sudden, I thought that, maybe, it might just be enough. After all, lots of people are eager to share why they think Dublin is cool. But who's talking about about what makes Dublin cozy? Me, that's who! Who says that little bakeries aren't the best part of a city, anyway?
At last, I'm ready to own my Dublin recommendations. Here are the cozy places, flavors, and spots that I visit again and again in Dublin. Better luck next time, hot clubs.
Travel writer Emma Higgins spent a year traveling solo around Ireland and the UK... and didn't shy away from taking some walks on the wild side.
Travel writer Emma Higgins went on a journey through the UK and Ireland for the whole of 2015. Emma travelled around her native land from the Hebrides in Scotland to the far corners of Cornwall, the west coast of Ireland and eastern England. Her book, A Year in the UK & Ireland, which is out now, is a collection of twenty long-form stories about her voyage, with beautiful accompanying photography aimed to inspire you to see the British Isles from a new perspective.
We sat down with Emma to talk about her incredible adventure!
Sir Christopher Wren has left a lasting legacy throughout London and "the City". Discover his architectural legacy.
How is it possible that most visitors to London never actually see London? No, it's not a trick question! The metropolitan area we refer to as London is actually two distinct municipalities. The City of Westminster is what most people know as London. If you've seen Big Ben, Trafalgar Square, and the British Museum, then you've done a pretty good job of exploring Westminster!
But the municipality of the City of London, the 'real' London as some might say, is a traveler's dream. The roughly one square mile of territory reflects London's boundaries during the Roman settlement in the first century. And while only 7,000 people live here, about 300,000 workers commute here everyday, as it is now the heart of London's financial district.
The City's sleek and modern financial towers have a tendency to camouflage some incredible historic architectural gems. Tucked among the skyscrapers are some of the finest pieces of work by renowned English architect Sir Christopher Wren, all open and eager for visitors. Even if architecture isn't your strong point, take heart. Entire volumes have been written about the breadth of Wren's work throughout London, but even a quick visit will allow a traveler the opportunity to become acquainted with Wren's best work.
If you have just half a day to explore The City, here's the perfect Wren-themed itinerary.
Do you have the world's shortest London layover- but cling to big travel dreams? Here's how you can see London in three hours or less.
Have you ever dreamed of being transported to another country for even just a few hours? How amazing would it be to wake up to breakfast in Paris or close the day with a nightcap in Rio? I love long trips, but there's also an intoxicating allure to the whirlwind visit, getting just a tantalizing taste of what a city has to offer. And lately, I've been thinking about the flavors of London. Specifically an ultra-short London layover.
I have a good friend who we'll refer to as Graeme (because that is in fact his name!) who recently did just that. He had a super short London stopover while on route to another European city. A layover so short that we even pondered if it was worth his time to leave the airport at all! In general, I rarely recommend layovers where you have less than 4 hours of leisure time but such sensible practicalities are lost on a wild soul like Graeme, who was determined to see London for the very first time.
And now Graeme isn't the only traveler I know who's embracing a lickety-split layover in London - my friend Valerie is considering it too! So if Graeme and Val sounds just like you and you have a devil-may-care approach to layovers - or if you simply have extremely limited free time to see the city on a business trip - here's what you can do in London when you have just three hours, plus a few options to extend your day if you have five to six hours.
What's on my list of the best things to do in East Sussex? Sleep next to an castle, feast on custard creams, and discover thousand year old battle fields.
Welcome to Herstmonceux Castle! This is one of the most special places in the world to me. The 15th century manor home has a colorful history and its current role as an international study center for Queen's University is what makes it feel like my second home. And a visit here tops my list of things to do in East Sussex. It really is an incredible place - and it will always have a special place in my traveling heart.
I knew I wanted to do a semester abroad at "The Castle" before I even started my first day of university at Queen's and the semester I spent there in my third year was one of the best experiences of my life. It was an incredible learning experience and it sparked my lifelong love for travel. I enjoyed it so much, I spent two summers working on the property as a bartender, housekeeper, and receptionist and I used all my free time to explore the area. It didn't take long for me to consider it to be the most beautiful castle in East Sussex.
While I would heartily endorse a semester of study to anyone, I appreciate that's not always practical! But it is the perfect place for an extended stop on an East Sussex road trip. Here are my top recommendations for visiting The Castle and planning an East Sussex adventure.
Come step inside a few centuries of history... These are some of the best churches to visit in London. Updated for 2021!
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